Version 1.2 reviewed and published

Version 1.2 is now publicly available after its full review from the AMO Editors. The update utilizes the toolbar palette in order to make the addon compatible with future Firefox versions. The full list of the changes can be found in this changelog.

It has been more than a year since SFF's previous update. Hopefully, from now on the updates will be more often, offering compatibility updates for future Firefox versions, bug fixes and new features!

SFF's user interface

If you use SFF you'll notice that for some site's (Facebook, hi5, MySpace, Twitter, Google Profiles, diigo, Plurk and brightkite) results can be presented in three different ways:

  • in a single chrome page within iframes with colorful borders and navigation capabilities for the sites in the iframes
  • in a single chrome page with icons that link to the site's results page and a beautiful photo of Seattle's skyline at dusk as a background
  • and lastly in separate tabs, one for each site

Users can define which method of presentation they want, for each site mentioned above, explicitly via the addon's Options window.


But there are sites (LinkedIn, blogspot, vkontakte, bebo, Netlog) for which there aren't any presentation options available. The search is done with the help of a Google Custom Search Engine that is appropriately parameterized for the addon's needs.

These two groups of sites with the different presentation handling they likely raise the question why there is that kind of distinction. The answer is that some sites, as LinkedIn for example, use different fields for the name and the surname in the query string and that may cause a search return no results. Lets say that you encounter somewhere the string "John Doe" you highlight it and click "Search social networks". SFF would broke the string in two tokens, "John" and "Doe", and would pass these values to the query string's fields. Then the results would appear. But if you encounter somewhere the string "Doe John" the tokens would be passed to the URL fields name and surname in the wrong order and that would cause a search attempt with no results. Of course it is possible to use two iframes / icons / tabs (depending on the presentation method) for these sites and do a search with both the combinations of the tokens, but that can not be considered as a solution for me. It is not elegant.

Furthermore there are sites, e.g. Netlog, that do not allow name searches for not logged in users, but only general ones. So for sites of these categories there isn't an obvious and quick solution.

So for these two circumstances Google's CSE seems a nice workaround!

Site's server status

During the last month site's load time was moderate because the hosting provider was upgrading its servers. Upgrade process hasn't finished yet (although now it may be close to the end), but now things seem much better!

In the meanwhile to cope with the issue I started using Cloudflare's CDN network which improved things noticeably. Furthermore Cloudfare is expanding its network (a few weeks ago it expanded its network with servers at Amsterdam and they're planning to have presence in Frankfurt, Paris and London too and three days ago they put their Hong Kong data center online) so site's response time will hopefully become better everywhere around the world!

AMO URL change

I changed the URL of the addon's listing on AMO from to in order to reflect the shortened version of the addon's name (SFF). Also I added the shortened name to page's title.

So from now on to visit SFF's AMO listing follow use the new URL:

Search page additions

More websites were added to the Search page. Here's a list of them:


Furthermore, after a search is performed, when results are shown, from now on there is the ability to filter the results by the desirable website. This can be done by clicking the buttons under the searchbox. There is also a button (the first one on the left) that can display combined results.

And the last addition: The Search page can be now accessed online by everyone at, from site's main menu.

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  1. Site online!